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Oct 25, 2012 | 20:02 GMT

2 mins read

Rebel Attacks Put Lima in a Difficult Position

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Rebel Attacks Put Lima in a Difficult Position

After Peruvian left-wing guerrilla group Shining Path launched an attack Oct. 6 that destroyed helicopters belonging to Peruvian hydrocarbons transporter Transportadora de Gas del Peru, the company's CEO Ricardo Ferreiro reportedly requested that the government allow his company to assume responsibility for its own security. The Peruvian government is already in a difficult position. Though it led a successful campaign over the past nine months that essentially gutted the northern faction of the Shining Path operating in the Alto Huallaga River Valley, a targeted campaign against the group's more robust southern branch in the Apurimac and Ene River Valley will present several difficulties that were not present in operations in the north. Complicating Peru's efforts against the remnants of the Shining Path is the presence of the Camisea natural gas pipeline, which runs through the southern branch's primary areas of operation and provides a target for the rebels. The energy and revenue from the Camisea pipeline are crucial for Lima, but Peru's security apparatus cannot protect the entire 540 kilometers (335 miles) of pipeline, making mere threats to the infrastructure and low-level harassment effective tools for the militants. Though companies in the area, including Transportadora de Gas del Peru, are concerned that the additional government presence there is the primary cause for the recent uptick in Shining Path attacks and doubt Lima's ability to ensure their security, Lima does not consider giving in to the rebels' threats an option.

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